Fr. Luke Moortgat’s proposal for Mass for the Deaf
April 3, 2011 4 Comments
From the CBCP:
Fr. Luke Moortgat, CICM underscored the importance of interpreting at different occasions.
He said the day was also a great opportunity to inform the general public of the presence of deaf in our society who need our help to be accepted and to become productive members of our nation.
Fr. Moortgat discussed the various programs of the Episcopal Commission on Health Care including their ministry for the deaf and other persons with disabilities.
Thirty-six interpreters, teachers of the deaf and others who studied at least the first level of Sign language strongly supported the idea to be among the members of the local Diocesan and Parochial Commissions who are active volunteers for interpreting during Holy Mass, teaching catechism, and other activities.
He believed the commission should be informed if parishioners find the interpreters during Mass as a distraction.
The priest said there is a need to explain the significance of interpreters’ role for the active participation of the disabled during the Holy Mass.
He strongly suggested to have one Holy Mass every Sunday for all the handicapped.
The handicapped can take roles in the celebration, he said, such as a blind taking care of the first reading and intellectually disabled being part of the offertory procession together with those who are wheelchair bound and also the presence of an interpreter for the deaf.
I think putting interpreters during the mass is a distraction. If the deaf can read, it is better that they follow the mass using their missals. If they can’t read, then it is better to catechetize them before the mass on the meaning of the mass rituals, especially on the meaning of Transubstatiation and when this occurs during the mass. Thus, for the sake of the deaf, it is important to strengthen fidelity to established rubrics on the celebration of the mass, because the sense of sight and smell are used by the deaf to know what is going on. This means proper attire for priests and sacristans, proper furnishings at the altar, and use of incense, candles, and bells.
If the mass is aired in the TV, then the interpreter can be given the lower right corner of the TV screen, but they should not be visible in the mass itself.
I also think that we must not have a separate mass for the handicapped. There should only be one mass for all–saints and sinners, handicapped or physically capable, old or young.